London art exhibitions: a guide for this weekend

Your guide to the best London art exhibitions, and those around the UK, as chosen by the Wallpaper* arts desk

two images side by side, sculpture of red metal house, fake nest in a tree, surrounded by leaves
Left: Jesse Pollock, The Granary, 2021 at Cunard Place, EC3A 5AR. Right: Victor Seaward, Nests, 2022 in a Tree Outside of 99 Bishopsgate, EC2M 3XD
(Image credit: © the artists. Photography: Nick Turpin)

Narrowing down your London art exhibitions must-see list is rarely easy, even in the quieter months on the art calendar. As winter approaches, stay up-to-date with our guide to the best shows around the city.


London art exhibitions


Nasim Hantehzadeh: ‘Ray of Light’
Pippy Houldsworth Gallery
18 November – 7 January 2023

abstract painting in lots of colours

Nasim Hantehzadeh, Which way is time moving?, 2022. oil and oil stick on linen

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist and Pippy Houldsworth Gallery)

'Ray of Light' reflects on displacement, spirituality and sexuality through abstract forms. Iranian-American artist Nasim Hantehzadeh’s depictions capture human body parts intertwined with irregular, colourful shapes which reference cave paintings, indigenous Mexican art, and ancient Persian rug patterns. Along with earthy tones from oil, pastel and graphite, Hantehzadeh uses phosphorescent pigments in their works, highlighting key elements to form a series of intriguing images. 

houldsworth.co.uk

'Interior’
Michael Werner Gallery
Until 4 February 2023

portrait of man facing away from view

Gilbert Lewis, Untitled, 1988-1989 Watercolour, gouache on paper

(Image credit: © The Artist. Photography: Mark Woods)

Curated by Andrew Bonacina, new paintings, sculptures and ceramics are presented in a group show at Michael Werner Gallery. From vibrant colour scapes by Walter Price to the distorted meditations on personhood depicted by Frank Auerbach, the show explores the internal world of the work's subjects. Including wide-ranging generational and creative approaches, the show delves confidently into the medium of portraiture and its potential. 

michaelwerner.com

Universal Everything  180 The Strand Until 30 December 2022

pieces of material shaped like people

Universal Everything, Superconsumers, 2019, 3 x video and stereo sound

(Image credit: Commissioned by Hyundai LIVART ArtLab)

Staged in the industrial subterranean labyrinth that is 180 The Strand, ‘Lifeforms’ is the largest show to date for Sheffield-based digital art collective, Universal Everything. Mining from the Futurists’ take on the body in motion, their otherworldly, hyperreal creatures fuse a spectrum of human behaviours with the diversity of the natural world. Presented and commissioned by 180 Studios, the exhibition will bring together 14 individual ‘lifeforms’ that exist in ‘habitats’ imagined by Ab Rogers Design

180thestrand.com (opens in new tab)

Sculpture in the City
City of London
Until 30 April 2023

sculptures made form metal, tall thin shaped

Bosco Sodi, Untitled, 2013, at 70 St Mary Axe, EC3A 8BE

(Image credit: © the artist, Courtesy Konig Galerie. Photography: Nick Turpin)

For its 11th edition, Sculpture in the City takes adorns the streets of the financial district with twisting white trees by Ugo Rondinone, Victor Seaward’s vibrant nests, which hang inconspicuously in trees, and an abstract sculpture by Emma Louise Moore, which becomes translucent when hit by the sun’s rays. Overall, 20 sculptures will be on display, with six having remained in situ from last year’s edition. 

sculptureinthecity.org.uk

Shezad Dawood: HMS Alice Liddell
St Pancras International

Shezad Dawood’s St Pancras Wires commission ‘HMS Alice Liddell’ unveiled at St Pancras International station, London on 29 September. Photography: PA

Shezad Dawood’s St Pancras Wires commission, HMS Alice Liddell, 2022 at St Pancras International station.

(Image credit: PA)

Dawood’s new site-specific sculpture for St Pancras International includes references to speculative fiction, steampunk and architecture to imagine a new mode of transportation. The multi-dimensional work, which draws on the station itself, as well as the story of Alice in Wonderland, explores an adventurer of multiple realities which includes an AR counterpart - accessed through a QR code. 

Adrian Ghenie: ‘The Fear of Now’ 
Thaddaeus Ropac
Until 22 December

Adrian Ghenie Impossible Body 4 , 2022. © Adrian Ghenie, Courtesy Thaddaeus Ropac gallery. Photography: Jörg von Bruchhausen

Adrian Ghenie, Impossible Body 4, 2022. © Adrian Ghenie. Courtesy Thaddaeus Ropac gallery.

(Image credit: Jörg von Bruchhausen )

Romanian artist Adrian Ghenie will be presenting new oil paintings and charcoal drawings depicting abstract distortions of the human body. The show explores discourses in social media and the impacts of online culture on modern social interactions, shining a light on perceived alienation and dislocation in the new age of online communication. 

ropac.net

Amy Sherald: ‘The World We Make’ 
Hauser & Wirth
Until 23 December

Amy Sherald, For love, and for country, 2022.

Amy Sherald, For love, and for country, 2022. © Amy Sherald, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

(Image credit: Joseph Hyde)

American painter Amy Sherald presents a series of striking small- and large-scale portraits in her largest European presentation to date. Reimagining, and borrowing from the conventions of historic portraiture, she inserts emblems of masculinity, culture and power into the images to centralise Black and Queer experiences.

hauserwirth.com

Tschabalala Self 
Coal Drops Yard sculpture 
Until 31 January 2023

8.Tschabalala Self, Lady in Yellow on Spiral Seat #2, 2021, image courtesy of the artist

Tschabalala Self, Lady in Yellow on Spiral Seat #2, 2021.

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist)

In her first public art commission, American artist Tschabalala Self will present a large-scale bronze sculpture (her first public artwork commissioned by Avant Arte), alongside a pop-up space with limited edition sculptures, silkscreen prints and a new film with individual responses to the ideas tackled in the sculpture. The installation will be staged on Lewis Cubitt Square, at the northern gateway to the Thomas Heatherwick-designed Coal Drops Yard complex. From 6 October – 17 December, Self will also present ‘Home Body’, a solo show at Pilar Corrias gallery, which will feature paintings, works on paper, furniture and sculpture investigating domestic space.

kingscross.co.uk

Christopher Kulendran Thomas: ‘Another World’ 
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)
Until 22 January

Christopher Kulendran Thomas, The Finesse (2022), in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann; film still

Christopher Kulendran Thomas, The Finesse, 2022, in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann; film still.

(Image credit: Courtesy the artist)

British-Tamil artist Christopher Kulendran Thomas’ ‘Another World’ displays a series of newly-commissioned paintings created by AI algorithms alongside two video installations. Each meditates on the lost legacies of the Sri Lankan civil war, which ended in 2009 with the eradication of Tamil Eelam, a self-governed online liberation movement. 

ica.art

Barbara Chase-Riboud: ‘Infinite Folds’
Serpentine 
Until 29 January

barbara_chase-riboud

Barbara Chase-Riboud. Malcolm X #6, 2003. Bronze and silk on metal.

(Image credit: Mott-Warsh Collection © Barbara Chase-Riboud)

In a major new show, American sculptor, novelist and poet Barbara Chase Riboud will present a portfolio of works unifying, yet opposing forces. The show, consisting of large-scale sculptures and works on paper from the 1960s to the present day, celebrates the legacy of Malcolm X, takes inspiration from Egyptian Pharaohs and explores ‘power as wielded by women throughout the ages,’ as the artist notes.

serpentinegalleries.org

William Kentridge
Royal Academy of Arts
Until 11 December

William Kentridge in his studio in Houghton

William Kentridge in his studio in Houghton, Johannesburg, a purpose-built space designed in 2000 by Pierre Lombart and Briget Grosskopff. 

(Image credit: Nico Krijno for Wallpaper's October 2022 issue)

William Kentridge’s long-awaited show at the RA, his largest in the UK to date, is nothing short of a triumph. It spans 40 years of the artist’s wide-ranging practice – including drawing, collage, film, sculpture, tapestry, theatre, dance and music – with many works unseen and created specifically for the show. As Kentridge told us in a recent interview, ‘It’s very much a view from the studio outwards... the studio is the central point.’ 

royalacademy.org.uk (opens in new tab)

Cecily Brown: ‘Studio Pictures’
Thomas Dane
Until 17 December 

Cecily Brown A Hunting Scene , 2020 oil on linen 43.2 x 58.4 cm. 17 x 23 in. © Cecily Brown.

Cecily Brown, A Hunting Scene, 2020. © Cecily Brown. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery.

(Image credit: Genevieve Hanson)

British artist Cecily Brown is well known for monumental pieces comprising expressive and vivid abstract scapes. In this solo show at Thomas Dane, Brown exposes her audience to more intimate and previously unseen works, Brown notes that ‘it is a lot harder to make a small painting than a big one, minute is often much more.’

thomasdanegallery.com

Damien Hirst: ‘Natural History’
Gagosian, Britannia Street
Ongoing

Animals suspended in blue liquid tanks

Damien Hirst: 'Natural History', installation view, 2022. © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2022.

(Image credit: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. Courtesy Gagosian)

‘Natural History’, spanning 30 years of Hirst’s greatest hits in formaldehyde-preserved animals, is prime-cut Hirst: unflinching and notorious. Through saggy-eyed sharks, bowel-like sausages, flayed innards, six-limbed cows, miscellaneous fish, upside-down sheep and Hunterian Museum-esque jarred organs and the most startling diorama of all: The Beheading of John the Baptist (2006), the show is a reminder of why the YBA icon pricked our ears up in the first place. With simultaneous surveys by Hirst, Francis Bacon and Louise Bourgeois, London’s air is pulsating with pungent, visceral animalism, and it’s stifling. Like it or loathe it, flayed, deformed, dissected, crucified bodies (or parts of them) seem to be de rigueur-(mortis), and Hirst’s show plays a leading role. Maybe what we need is a bit of realism to feel alive, even if it is dead, and marinating in a tank. Read the full review

gagosian.com (opens in new tab)

Yayoi Kusama: ‘Infinity Mirror Rooms’
Tate Modern
Until 2 April 2023

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room - Filled with the Brilliance of Life 2011/2017 Tate Presented by the artist, Ota Fine Arts and Victoria Miro 2015, accessioned 2019 © YAYOI KUSAMA Photo © Tate (Joe Humphrys)

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room Filled with the Brilliance of Life, 2011/2017, Tate, presented by the artist, Ota Fine Arts and Victoria Miro 2015, accessioned 2019 © YAYOI KUSAMA

(Image credit: © Tate (Joe Humphrys))

On the post-lockdown London art scene, there seems to be a recurring theme: immersion. These include Ryoji Ikeda’s sensory ambush at 180 The Strand, and Es Devlin’s recent Forest for Change at Somerset House for London Design Biennale. But Tate Modern is hosting the piece of work that arguably redefined the role of immersion in contemporary art: Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Infinity Mirror Rooms’. The year-long show will comprise two of the artist’s acclaimed mirror room installations in a dizzying marriage of mirrors, light and water, which offers the illusion of limitless space. Also on view is The Universe as Seen from the Stairway to Heaven, 2021, Kusama's brand new 'peep in' sculpture, which has been created specifically for the show. At 92, Kusama remains a prolific force: the artist currently has simultaneous shows at Victoria Miro, London, the New York Botanical Garden, and a major retrospective at Gropius Bau in Berlin. She has also recently collaborated with brands such as Veuve Clicquot, which involved a striking sculptural intervention on the French Champagne house's premium cuvée, La Grande Dame. 

tate.org.uk


Art exhibitions around the UK


Elizabeth Price: ‘Underfoot’
The Hunterian, Glasgow
Until 16 April 2023

detail image of blue, brown and red patterned carpet

Elizabeth Price, Underfoot, 2022, 2-channel projection, video still. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of Elizabeth Price Studio)

Turner Prize winner Elizabeth Price is opening the reflecting on the history of textile production in Glasgow during the industrial age, in both familiar and previously unexplored mediums. Using established carpet manufacturers Stoddard International and James Templeton & Co. as a starting point, Price presents a moving image work (and the titular piece for the show), as well as a hand-tufted rug, inspired by photographic records and archival pattern books. Alongside the show, The Hunterian and Glasgow School of Art are holding talks through the exhibition’s run, as well as during a two-day conference.

gla.ac.uk

Louise Bourgeois: ‘Drawing Intimacy’
Hauser & Wirth Somerset 
Until 2 January 2023

Louise Bourgeois Untitled (Orbits and Gravity) 2009 Etching, w atercolor, coloured pencil on paper 14 x 24.1 cm / 5 ½ x 9 ½ in Photo: Peter Butler © The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at ARS, NY and DACS, London 2022

Louise Bourgeois, Untitled (Orbits and Gravity), 2009.

(Image credit: Peter Butler © The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at ARS, NY and DACS)

Hauser & Wirth Somerset will unveil an intimate series of works from Louise Bourgeois’ private collection, consisting of plaster sculptures, paintings, drawings and works on paper seen for the first time. The excerpts from the late artist’s collection are largely taken from the final four years of her life, and in true form, are deeply, madly human. 

hauserwirth.com

‘Robert Indiana: Sculpture 1958-2018’
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Until 8 January 2023

Large red 'LOVE' sign

Robert Indiana, LOVE (Red Blue Green), 1966-1998, Installation view at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2022. © 2022 Morgan Art Foundation Ltd./Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY/DACS, London

(Image credit: TBC)

Late sculptor Robert Indiana was long concerned with the American dream and all it stood for in times of political and social change. His renowned LOVE sculpture (1964) – still as contemporary as ever – welcomes YSP’s guests at the entrance of his exhibition, nodding to the underlying themes of equity and diversity in Indiana’s work. His claim that ‘numbers fill [his] life’, ‘more than love’, proves itself with his brightly coloured ONE through ZERO sculpture, additionally manifesting the repeated use of words and numbers throughout. These ten numbers additionally refer to the cyclical human stages of birth, death, and everything in between. 

ysp.org.uk (opens in new tab)

Writer: Saskia Koopman

Martha Elliott is the Junior Digital News Editor at Wallpaper*. After graduating from university she worked in arts-based behavioural therapy, then embarked on a career in journalism, joining Wallpaper* at the start of 2022. She reports on art, design and architecture, as well as covering regular news stories across all channels.